Cilewent Farmhouse

A cruck and timber-framed house built about 1470 as an open hall.

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The original timber walls were rebuilt in stone in 1734 - the date being carved on the head of the entrance door frame - and all that remains of the original house are the two cruck trusses in the cowhouse and the timber-framed partition between the cowhouse and the dwelling. This is a 'long-house', with cattle being accommodated at one end and humans at the other, with a common passageway between the two parts. This type of farmhouse was once common in mid- and south Wales. In addition to twelve cattle, there was also stabling for horses, and a hay-loft above.

The furniture is of about 1750. The ark lid chest in the passage was a common piece of furniture in Welsh farmhouses and, in this case, would have been used to store oatmeal. The lid was designed so that it could be turned upside-down and used to carry the contents. The existence of a dairy adjoining the main kitchen shows that butter and cheese production were an important source of income for the farmer during this period. Amongst the dairy equipment is an impressive oak cheese-press cleverly made to look like a piece of household furniture. Within the main living area stands a tridarn (three-piece cupboard) of dark oak from mid- Wales, bearing the date 1726, which was probably when the upper tier was added to an earlier deuddarn (two-piece cupboard). This is a good example of how, before mass production, furniture was adapted to the owner's requirements or to the fashion of the day. The house was dismantled in 1955.


Building facts:

  • Original Location: Cilewent, Llansanffraid Cwmteuddwr, nr Rhayader, Powys (Radnorshire)

exterior view of cilewent farmhouse


  • Date originally built: 1470 & 1734

  • Furnished: 1750

  • Moved to St. Fagans: 1959

  • 6th building opened to the public at the Museum

  • Listing status: Grade 2



Visit Cilewent Farmhouse at St Fagans National History Museum

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